Darksiders II – Death of the Wild

The universe is descending into chaos as the war between Heaven and Hell gets complicated. The Charred Council created The Four Horsemen, giving them the task of enforcing law and maintaining balance across multiple dimensions. Humanity emerges in a third dimension named Earth between Heaven and Hell, and this is where the real trouble begins. The very fabric of existence is threatened by screen tearing, as a videogame company named THQ threatens to publish the universe.

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This is the new world of Zelda…

It’s been two years since we got our first look at Zelda U, and now there’s less than two days until the hood is finally pulled off the secretive title.

We sadly will not see the game released in time for its 30th anniversary, with it being delayed to next year (likely to NX launch in March), but that does little to dampen the anticipation Zelda fans have for the title’s re-unveiling. Well, by fans I mean actual fans, not the ones that think Zelda should be more like Dark Souls, that Wind Waker’s art style is too kiddy, that the series requires voice-acting to be playable, or the numerous others with similarly unpleasant opinions.

So if you’re up for some speculation, let’s dive right in.

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The Legend of Midna: Twilight Picross

Exclusive to the My Nintendo rewards program comes a new chapter in the Zelda series. For hardcore Nintendo fans only, this game takes place in a dark timeline where Link dies and the player never continues the game. Midna gets bored of waiting, and starts carving out numbers on the spines of soldiers. “Hold still!” Midna insists, as the frightened guard screams in agony from the Twilight Realm. He can’t even see what Midna is doing, as she chuckles from the realm of light. Convinced he’s gone crazy, the guard kills himself with his spear, plunging it straight through his heart.

Aw, you ruined my puzzle!” laments Midna. The spear went right though some of the numbers, but it gave Midna an idea. “I could combine numbers and lines to make interesting pictures!” Hooray! Welcome to My Nintendo Picross.

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Stuck in the Middle

A close examination over the opposing outrage narratives concerning Fire Emblem.

There’s quite a lot of discussion on the internet in the past few days concerning the censorship of video games, pressure from so-called “Social Justice Warriors,” and pressure from so-called “GamerGaters.” The crux of this discussion appears to center around the latest installment of the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Fates, although there has been other recent controversies concerning games like Dead or Alive Extreme 3 and Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water.

Concerning Fire Emblem: Fates, a subquest involving a character named Soleil, who seems to be a female of a bisexual orientation (1 of 3 possible for humans, at least before Tumblr existed), could be romanced by an avatar character of the player’s design. The context of this romance appears to be that Soleil seems to get weak-kneed around cute girls of her type, which lessens her effectiveness in war and impedes her quest to become “smooth,” in her (fan translated at this point) words. The player character concocts a magic potion that makes the imbiber see people in opposite genders (1 of 2, at least before… oh, I already did that joke…) causing Soleil to see people in the opposite gender that they are. This medicine is supplied to Soleil in clandestine means, which to say, her drink was spiked. Hilarious hijinks ensue. This is obviously squarely in 90’s sitcom territory, or something out of the romantic comedy manga Ranma 1/2. The outcome is comical, and at the end the misadventure allows the player avatar to get closer to Soleil and say that she finds interacting with the player character “fun,” regardless of the unawareness of her medication. Who could possibly object?

Soleil
The face that launched a thousand tweets.

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Phantom Hourglass HD Edition – Sailing the 192p Seas

WAHOOOO!! With a well-timed jump over an Octorok spike trap, Phantom Hourglass has landed on the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe and Australia. Unfortunately it has not made its way to America yet, but I’m sure the fog will lift soon. There’s a lot of baddies out on the ocean so you have to plot a course carefully. Let’s get to the point, a DS game on Wii U, what is this madness? Linebeck hid in the corner, he was scared of this new experience. How do two screens work on the TV? Is it functional? Could it be amazing? I’ve just completed the game and yes, it’s pretty fucken playable. I had an absolute blast with the ship’s cannon, ahahahaha. Linebeck told me that joke I swear. The game is pretty good too. This writeup is going to explain how DS games play on Wii U, and why Phantom Hourglass itself is special.

To the SHIP!!

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Twilight Princess – I’m A Wolf Now

ARROOOOOO!! This game has jumped into the spotlight with the recently announced Twilight Princess HD for Wii U so I thought it was a good time for a writeup. I started replaying this on a whim a few weeks ago and have become completely absorbed in its world. Being such a gigantic game, I haven’t done a playthrough since the Wii launch, but I was delighted to discover the game is much better than how I remember it. It’s huge and sometimes slow, but never boring. It’s such a wonderful game. Rather than being an intimidating “time sink” game, it’s been a special part of my day as I’ve slowly rediscovered this enchanting world at my own pace. The land is populated with beautiful, innocent life, but is also threatened by a dark curse. This contrast creates a sense of mystery and urgency that makes even basic travel interesting, and had my mindset permanently engaged and interested all the way to the end of the game. This writeup isn’t a traditional review, I’m going to talk a LOT about the story so it’ll be filled with spoilers, so just don’t read if you haven’t played the game. Or maybe you’re just a free spirit who doesn’t mind spoilers so go for it. I think life is too short to experience everything perfectly. Sometimes you just have to let loose and read a blog post. Like Pietriots, Twilight Princess is rich in surprises and variety and I had so much fun rediscovering all the themes and gameplay elements.

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Tri Force Heroes – Demo Impressions!!

Nintendo’s been distributing *HELLO* demo codes for The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes on 3DS and *HELLO* I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on some from Nintendo Australia. I say lucky because their *HELLO* email system is shitty and unreliable, and these are seemingly distributed randomly. With the death of Club Nintendo it seems they’ve finally fixed their database and I got my first *HELLO* email from them in months. Anyway, I’m needed in the Drablands!! *LET’S GO!*

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Majora’s Mask 3D – The Legend of Clock Town

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Good morning everyone. Looks like we’re in for another lovely day as the sun spreads its colourful rays over the hills and under the clouds. Everyone’s up bright and early to make the most of it. Workers are preparing for the Carnival, shops are set up to rake in the rupees, dogs are barking, kids are playing, and the Postman trots along in a sweat, already struggling to keep up with the day’s letters. I’d expect nothing less in Clock Town, the busiest place in the world. With a staggering population of 26 there is always something going on here. The Mayor is being indecisive as always, while the soldiers and council workers go about their usual debate routine. I’m excited for the big fireworks in 3 days, but there’s a hint of doubt in the air. The soldiers are saying it’s too dangerous and there’s talk of workers slacking off, even leaving. Some even say the moon will fall. Pessimists, I say. Great excuse to get out of work. All the doom and gloom is mostly coming from the soldiers, all they do is stand there all day. The councilmen are determined to put on a good show, or all their hard work will have gone to waste. Just the usual bickering. The moon does look big and nasty, but it’s so far away right? Even though it’s harmless I can’t help but stare at it.

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Game Journalists Are Not Covering Videogames

Videogame banter used to be simple. Whether it was opinions on a game or straight console war shitfights, people said what they were thinking. Xbox is a poorly made piece of shit. GameCube is a purple lunch box for babies. Playstation games are ugly like your Mum. Now days, you get banned for that kind of stuff on forums and that’s fair enough. It’s never nice to insult people or trash talk for the sake of it. However I’m beginning to feel the landscape of passive-aggressive assumptions we have now is even more toxic. There’s this illusion that things are more “civilised” in the gaming community, created by ever growing concern for social issues and a set of universal standards games are being judged on. As a result of this social narrative becoming popular and generating clicks, every game coming out is being judged by the same set of rules, regardless of whether or not it makes sense in the game’s own context as a playable videogame.

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Zelda: A Link Between HD and 3D Worlds – Hands On Impressions From PAX

Zelda was playable in two forms at PAX Australia, Wind Waker HD on Wii U and A Link Between Worlds on 3DS. Both games had their own surprises in store that had to be felt in person to believe. Zelda 3DS impressed me with its graphics and Wind Waker HD impressed me with the controls. Did I get that the wrong way around? While Link’s butt does look fantastic in HD, there’s more to it!

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